Do you want to be more like Jesus Christ in your daily walk? There are both positive and negative sides to this pathway. Things to do and not to do.
5:1 Become, therefore, imitators of God, as beloved children;
Now there’s a “mouthful in eight words.”
Paul isn’t saying that we should ask questions like “What would Jesus do?” and then act on what we think He might do (as implied in the famous novel In His Steps by Charles Sheldon). It means, instead, that we should take our clues on how we should act from God’s character.
Actually, Paul illustrates what he means in the next verse…
5:2 and be continually walking in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and sacrifice to God becoming a fragrant aroma.
To be an imitator of God and is to walk in love, and to walk in love is to sacrifice your interests for Him and for others. It means that we major in giving, that we live to serve God and other people in His behalf. It means that we are not to be self-centered and live for self-indulgence.
Does that mean a dull, drab and boring life? Absolutely not.
God wants us to have the things and circumstances and people in our lives that make us happy. Along with necessary trials, without which we so quickly become emotionally, spiritually even physically flabby.
Sacrifices–and for the most part they are small—with the right attitude can bring joy into your life. There’s just something so gutsy, so seemingly crazy about them, that they is often accompanied with a deep joy. Sure, sometimes there is sadness but a sadness that will unfailingly be potently rewarded.
And pleasure is good and pleasant, but it can be addictive and all-too-quickly become the focus of our lives. That brings us to the next verse.
5:3 But fornication and uncleanliness or covetousness—don’t let it be named among you, just as it is fitting (or, proper, right) for holy ones (saints)
5:4 and baseness and foolish talk or coarse jesting, which is not fitting, but rather giving thanks.
And God wants us to live clean lives, free even of silly talk, including suggestive jokes. Giving thanks to God is always appropriate. Silly talk often gives opportunity to the devil to work hurt and to keep our old nature in the lead.
And giving thanks to God is always appropriate.
Here’s a worthy daily goal: replace all silly or whiny or smutty talk with giving thanks to God. And instead of indulging unworthy thoughts, dwell instead on with whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, any excellence and anything worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8).